MISS BROWN TO YOU is noteworthy for the fact that it includes Holiday's very first recordings. The earliest, "Your Mother's Son In Law" and "Riffin' The Scotch," were recorded with Benny Goodman's orchestra (including Jack Teagarden and Gene Krupa) in 1933. The rest of the album includes work with the Duke Ellington and Teddy Wilson Orchestras. It's difficult to pinpoint these tracks as Lady Day's first however, since she emerges here, if not fully formed, then as an already stunningly distinctive stylist.
She approaches vocal phrasing with the sensitivity of an instrumentalist--from the sly swing of "Eeny Meeny Miney Mo" to the up-front seduction of "It's Too Hot For Words." The songs are firmly rooted in the swing era, and it is a pleasure to hear Holiday sing the uptempo songs of the time, rather than her more familiar signature standards--though in ballads like "If You Were Mine" her later intimate, blues-drenched delivery is in full-bloom. MISS BROWN TO YOU, a historical document of Lady Day's first and no less wonderful recordings, is a keeper.